Book Review of Business for the Common Good

Wong, Kenman L. and Scott B. Rae. Business for the Common Good: A Christian Vision for the Marketplace.

Business for the Common Good offers an ethical guide for Christian businesspeople who want their lives to reflect their Christianity. The introduction to the book notes, “There simply is no established, widely recognized body of ethical or religious knowledge now operative in the institutions of knowledge in our culture” (p. 17). Christians are falling into the same traps as unbelievers in the realm of business—caught up with the pursuit of money, working to advance rather than to glorify God, and trampling on the less fortunate.  Wong and Rae offer an alternative to an unbelieving worldview.  They do not trumpet social activism for the sake of activism; they promote a free-market economy as best reflective of biblical mandates; but they do not give capitalism a free pass.  Its advocates have no right to do and act as they see fit without concern for biblical truth.  The authors treat topics ranging from the worker’s view of his labor to the Christian response to a global economy.  They also treat the pursuit of wealth and the stewardship of the environment without accepting an uncritical perspective on any of these issues.

Readers will want to be aware that the authors sometimes quote from and praise some theologians (e.g., Miroslav Volf, 74) and social workers (e.g., Mother Theresa, p. 133) who fall outside the bounds of orthodoxy, but they carefully qualify this praise as resulting from the fact that even fallen people are made in God’s image and can reflect some moral good.

Christian businessmen will be helped by the attention that the authors give to examples of specific ethical situations (both by way of historical illustration and hypothetical situation).

  • Softcover: 285 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic, 2011
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-0830828166

Reviewed by: Brian Hand, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament in BJU Seminary.

This book is available at www.BJUCampusStore.com

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